New Horizons
click on link or photos to read about the series
 ©Michael G. O'Brien
For now I'm on hiatus from teaching at George Brown College. I'm focused on my own photography projects and developing new teaching materials, workshops and meet-ups. In addition I'll be offering Zoom image reviews and Adobe Lightroom™ editing sessions online. Details to come.

For me teaching is a privilege. As Joseph Joubert said, "to teach is to learn twice"—the big benefit to teaching is to meet the many people who come through the classroom door—that's my main motivation to teach. So, many thanks to all those people who have helped me more deeply understand both photography and teaching. In relation to teaching this change is 'the end of the beginning' for me. There's more to come.

Ongoing newsletters will highlight photography from people I've met along the way. If you have some photos or a project that you feel would interest others, I welcome you to contact me about being included - don't be shy. Thanks to Paul McCormack for sharing his photos and writing below.
Escaping The Bewilderment l
My friend and fellow photographer Paul McCormack has spent years building a thriving business in the health care sector. Now, with the COVID crisis looming it all hangs in the balance. Following through on a challenge I made in a previous newsletter, Paul contributed the following 3 images and words to convey his experience of the impact the virus has had on
his life:

"The office sits empty and the normally busy street below is void of its busyness, replaced with displaced people wandering without connecting. I sit at home working 10-hour days, six days a week - wondering how to stay in business until there is a recovery to normalcy. On the seventh day I retreat to taking images, to shooting ideas, to escaping the bewilderment of what has become a routine that I do not cherish. I cherish the escapism. My colleagues will return, the office will be busy and as we redesign for the future the catch phrase of 'we are in this together' will take on a whole new meaning…"
The Seventh Day
This photo was made by Paul on one of his few days off. It's one of my favourite images of his. The strong composition holds me while the beauty and peace conveyed through this photo seeps into me. It reminds me of how much we need nature - how it can release emotions from deep inside. How it can soothe us. It also reminds me of the deeply transformative power that both the practice of photography and the resulting images can have on us.

I recently watched a film that featured a shaman living on the edge of Lake Baikal in Siberia. I was struck by his words: "We come from nature. We are nothing without it." These words carried weight for me given that pandemic that has brought many parts of the world to a standstill.
One Camera, One Lens
While thinking about the themes of simplicity and authenticity in photography this video caught my attention. It features an unusual photographer named FARN - he's an award winning photographer who prefers to keep his equipment simple. I think we can all learn something from his approach. Check out his excellent advice below on where to put your first $1,000 as a start into photography.
Photography As
A Transformative Experience
Watch this video to familiarize yourself with the work and thoughts of photographer Dawoud Bey . He developed a form of street photography early on, then made it his own while creating some incredibly intimate photos of the communities he focused on.
Resources, Further Reading And Previous Newsletters
Approaches to Creativity

Check out Lens Culture's amazing curated list of initiatives, ideas and resources. It's big and beautiful.

Learn more about Authenticity

Read more about Self Reflection and Journaling.

Read more about the building blocks of creativity.

Read more about how limitation helps us focus and be productive.

Read more about opening the photographer's toolbox.



Ideas About Composition

Click here to read about
Framing in composition

Click here to read about
Linear Perspective.

Click here to read about
Dominant Foreground
Contributing Background.

Click here to read about
Rule of Thirds.

Click here to read about
Controlled Depth of Field.

Click here to read about
Good Ideas.
Contact Michael 
office 416 778 6521
mobile 647 286 1705